Victoria: Celebrating its 240th anniversary A Historical perspective’ is a collection of rare and resourceful pictures and texts which tell the story of Victoria from when it was established as a French settlement in 1778 to present period.
This publication, unlike other historical publications about the capital city of the Seychelles, explains the evolution of Victoria. As the city celebrates its 240th anniversary, Seychellois can now explore their history through the numerous pictures and texts within the book. Financed jointly by the publisher, Rila Publications, London and the Seychelles Ministry of Finance. The book tells the story of Victoria from its founding in 1778, as a French settlement, to the present day. Surprisingly, it is the first ever publication that is specifically about the history of Victoria.
“We made it a photographic journey that is affordable for everyone, for students and adults, so they can know their town through photos and text. What makes this book exceptional is that there is photography included that has never before seen”, says historian Tony Mathiot, who worked on the book along with the Mayor of Victoria, David Andre, and editor and publisher Georgina Dhillon.
Mathiot, a well-known historian in the Seychelles, highlights the ordinance that established the town of Victoria in 1851 as one of the most important of the unique documents displayed in the book. He points out that no-one on the island has ever seen this important piece of Victoria’s history.
In his speech at the book launch, Mayor Andre said, “It is an opportunity to reminisce, appreciate and above all enjoy a wonderful journey as you go through the rich pages of the book. This book is a beautiful treasure to share with family members including children, friends and visitors, as a celebration of our beautiful enchanted creole capital. I hope that this publication will help to contribute towards a new and refreshing breath of life and initiative that will promote and respect our heritage and pave the way for well-considered culturally relevant and eco-friendly developments in Victoria.” He also added that it was a privilege to be present at the launch of such an important and beautiful historical record.
The value of this book to Seychellois is significant as it documents their culture and history in a way that has not been accomplished previously. Whilst the book will no doubt be of interest to those visiting this historic capital city, it will be treasured by those who continue to build the future history of Victoria.